Chef Discovers Unusual Vision Condition: Prosopometamorphopsia or PMO

The Bizarre Visual Disorder of Prosopometamorphopsia: Living in a Prolonged Nightmare

Chef Victor Sharrah from Clarksville, Tennessee, woke up one morning to find his roommate with pointy ears, giant eyes, and a slanted mouth that extended to the edges of his face. Fearing for his sanity, Sharrah tried to remain calm and take his dog for a walk. However, the people he passed on the street also had equally strange and twisted faces.

Feeling like he had entered a demonic world, Sharrah began to panic and even considered being admitted to a psychiatric unit. However, with the help of experts, he learned that he suffers from a rare vision condition called prosopometamorphopsia or PMO. People with this condition see distorted faces in various ways. While Sharrah sees demons, others may see elves or faces that constantly move.

Despite experiencing PMO for over three years, Sharrah’s condition is unique in that faces on flat screens appear normal to him. Researchers at Dartmouth College have created photorealistic images to depict how individuals with PMO perceive distorted faces. The exact cause of prosopometamorphopsia remains unknown but is believed to be a symptom rather than a disorder with multiple potential causes.

Sharrah found relief in learning about PMO through an online support group and now wears glasses with a green tint to alleviate the severity of the distortions. While he has largely adapted to his strange new world, crowded places can still be overwhelming with “demons” surrounding him.

Many individuals with PMO face a difficult decision on whether to tell others about their distorted perceptions. Some choose to remain silent to avoid being perceived as crazy. Sharrah shared her experience to help others with PMO avoid unnecessary hospitalizations for psychosis by raising awareness about this condition and preventing others from experiencing the trauma she went through.

In conclusion, prosopometamorphopsia or PMO is a rare vision condition where individuals see distorted faces in different ways

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